Genetic and environmental influences on religious interests, attitudes, and values: A Study of Twins Reared Apart and Together

Niels G Waller, Brian A. Kojetin, Thomas J. Bouchard, David T. Lykken, Auke Tellegen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations

Abstract

The role of genetic and environmental factors in the expression of religious interests, attitudes, and values was examined using data from adult twins reared apart and adult twins reared together. The Religious Values scale of the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values, a Religious Interest scale from the Strong Campbell Interest Inventory, the Wiggins Religious Fundamentalism scale from the MMPI, a Leisure Time Religious Interest scale, and a second measure of Occupational Religious Interest were administered to 53 identical and 31 fraternal twin pairs who had been reared apart. The Leisure Time Religious Interest Scale and the second measure of Occupational Religious Interest were also administered to 458 identical and 363 fraternal twin pairs who had been reared together. Biometric model fitting indicated that approximately 50% of the observed variance of all five measures is genetically influenced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by grants from the University of Minnesota Graduate School, the Pioneer Fund, the Seaver Institute, the Koch Charitable Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation (BNS-7926654), and the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishing Company. We thank Leonard L. Heston, Elke D. Eckert and Nancy Segal, our co-principal investigators, for their help in conducting the study of twins reared apart and the following people for the time and effort they have given to testing the twins: Crista Carmichael, Margaret Keyes, Daniel Maloney, Jeff McHenry, Mary Moster, Elizabeth Rengel, Ellen Rubin, Susan Resnick, Joy Fisher, Jan Englander, and Ann Riggs. We owe special thanks to Matt McGue for his valuable advice and assistance.

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